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A Magazine for Sheffield

Andy Hixon: An artist of many styles

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Andy Hixon 'makes art if he's in the mood'. He is an illustrator who also fixes watches. His exploration of the human form is darkly fascinating and you're likely to find yourself lingering on his pieces, straining to take in their many facets. We chatted with Andy to find out more about his work.

Firstly, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into art?

Well, I'm originally from Manchester but have been living in Sheffield for about ten years. Getting into art I guess stems from not being much good at anything else when I was in school. Visuals have always been the most stimulating thing for me so I just followed that path.

Your Instagram reveals an evolution through a variety of styles. What prompts you to change direction?

I spent four years working on two separate graphic novels for Random House, The Tale of Brin and Bent and Minno Marylebone and Lucia. Doing the same style day in day out can get boring, even when it's for a cool project like a graphic novel. I've always loved sculpture so I decided to apply my work to that, making singular pieces rather than sequential. I get bored with my work quickly and end up not liking a piece quite soon after it's done, so that's another reason I change it up a lot.

The subject matter definitely influences the illustration

You're the author of graphic novel Lucia. What's it about and how did the subject matter influence the illustrations?

Lucia is about two unemployed friends who live in a dead end town, on an eroding cliff face that's about to fall into the sea. Morty is a wheelchair bound divorcee. Brick is an aspiring heavyweight champion of the world but can't fight and weighs about six stone.

The book follows them going about their daily activities: signing on at the job centre, watching VHS, taking performance enhancing drugs ('Muscle Bastard'), online dating and riding on a dangerous donkey that bites children's fingers off. The Guardian called it "League of Gentlemen meets Under the Skin and then some," which I think sums it up nicely!

The subject matter definitely influences the illustration. I wanted to give it a documentary fly-on-the-wall type vibe, where the reader is just an observer of the goings-on in the life of these two peculiar characters. It's dark but it's meant to be satirical and a bit funny.

You return to the human figure again and again in your work, albeit in a range of styles. What is it about the human body that you find so fascinating?

Nice short answer for this one... I honestly don't know! I guess there's nothing more interesting than the human figure. There are a lot of opportunities for abstracting it in art.

What's on the horizon for you?

I work a day job as a watch repair technician so that takes up most of my time. I've tried lots of ways of getting my art out there in the past. There's the graphic novels, I've done exhibitions, done album artwork for bands and even a music video, but art and illustration have become more a sort of hobby for me now. I'd like to have a solo exhibition in the Sheffield area but I'm learning it's not what you know... That and getting better at guitar as I just bought an eight-string beast and it's awesome.

See more of Andy's work here or follow him on Instagram @andyhixon.

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